While teaching at a European-funded workshop in Ljubljana in late February (the surprisingly frisky façade of the Slovenian House of Parliament shown right), I was generally less than impressed by the ability of that city to cater for any food tastes other than sausages and creamy steaks, but made up for it by trying a handful of the local dark lagers. I didn't take detailed tasting notes of any of them (I had enough to keep in mind with the half-dozen project ideas that were flying around), but some of my impressions and comparisons of the main drinks remain, and were mostly positive.
The other local beer that we sampled on another evening (but I didn't think to photograph), was the Union Temno, a slightly cheaper but still pleasant black lager served in an "English pub" down by the river. Union is much smokier than the Laško (or indeed than the almost insipid-in-comparison Urquell Black that I had midway through the evening), almost like a roasted barley frappé sweetened with molasses, dark and chewy while being cold and refreshing. There's nothing like the weight or bitterness of a stout, and even though it's as sweet as a winter porter, it's unmistakably a chilled, fizzy lager. Even on a cold night, it was very pleasant to drink a handful of large glasses of this beer in a noisy bar while debating the qualities of Balkan and Thracian scripts on ancient inscriptions. If I could figure out how to get something more interesting to eat than grilled vegetables, I could get used to drinking Slovenian beers.